"planetary-gears" screensaver should be "provided" or removed.

Bug #196360 reported by Noel J. Bergman on 2008-02-28
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
xscreensaver (Ubuntu)
Tormod Volden

Bug Description

Binary package hint: xscreensaver

The so-called planetary gears screensaver comes from the presence of /usr/share/applications/screensavers/planetary_gears.desktop, which is provided by the xscreensaver-gl package. The configuration is:

  [Desktop Entry]
  Name=Planetary Gears
  Comment=This draws sets of turning, interlocking gears, rotating in three dimensions. Another GL hack, by Danny Sung, Brian Paul, Ed Mackey, and Jamie Zawinski.
  Exec=gears -planetary -root

As you can see, this really executes the gears screensaver (which otherwise works fine), passing -planetary and -root as parameters. The gears screensaver doesn't understand -planetary, as you can see from:

  # ./gears -planetary -root
  Gears: from the XScreenSaver 5.04 distribution (13-Nov-2007.)

  Unrecognised option: -planetary
  Options include: -root, -window, -mono, -install, -noinstall,
     -visual <arg>, -window-id <arg>, -pair, -spin, -no-spin,
     -speed <arg>, -wander, -no-wander, -count <arg>,
     -delay <arg>, -wireframe, -no-wireframe, -fps, -no-fps.

This results in a blank screen instead of the screensaver. I have looked at the gears source code, and it no longer supports that option, therefore the planetary_gears.desktop file should be dropped (unless someone wants to change the gears code).

TerryG (tgalati4) wrote :

This bug has bitten me on new installs. I also wish xscreensaver would default to a simple screen saver (such as Deco). I can't count the number of times a machine has frozen on a new install when it goes to a random 3D screensaver and the graphics card was not set up properly. This results in what appears to be a hard lockup for a new user. And this results in more posts to the forums. Let the user explore the screen savers on his own time. Using Random as the default adds to problems at a time when the user base is growing.

Excellent bug description by Bergman.

Changed in xscreensaver:
status: New → Confirmed
Tormod Volden (tormodvolden) wrote :

Thanks for your bug report. Actually gears go "planetary" now and then (1 out 8 times) by itself now.

Changed in xscreensaver:
assignee: nobody → tormodvolden
status: Confirmed → In Progress
Tormod Volden (tormodvolden) wrote :

TerryG, default saver should be "Blank Screen". Has this changed in Hardy? You will have to create a new user to check.

Tormod Volden (tormodvolden) wrote :

This will be fixed in xscreensaver 5.04-3.

Noel J. Bergman (noeljb) wrote :


The default screen saver was indeed Blank Screen when I did a clean install of Alpha 5.

And, yes, I saw the %8 in the code. :-) Just didn't think that it was worth mentioning in terms of this defect.

TerryG (tgalati4) wrote :

Thanks all for the fix. I was referring to Dapper through Gutsy fresh installs. Haven't done any Hardy installs yet. Need some more hard disks!

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

This bug was fixed in the package xscreensaver - 5.04-4ubuntu1

xscreensaver (5.04-4ubuntu1) hardy; urgency=low

  * Merge from debian unstable, remaining changes: (LP: #201626)
    - debian/control: add Build-Depends on ubuntu-artwork
    - debian/rules: use /usr/share/backgrounds
    - 82_ubuntu-texturl-fridge.patch: use Ubuntu fridge for rss
    - 91_ubuntu-no-pam-conf: don't ship pam.conf
    - 70_ubuntu-xscreensaver-desktop.patch: name the xscreensaver desktop
      file for what it is to not confuse it with gnome-screensaver
    - debian/rules: don't hide the xscreensaver desktop icon if the
      user insists on installing xscreensaver (LP: #86416)
    - 54_drivers_demogtk.patch: Patching a compile failure with
      GTK+ in Hardy
    - 28_rotate.patch: Add in the gdk pixbuf function to rotate JPEGs and
      TIFFs so that they're the right direction
    - debian/control: Increasing the GTK+ version to 2.12 for the patch
    - glslideshow.desktop: Changing so that it shows only one image, one
      time and no extra black on the edges.
  * Fixed upstream:
    - install xscreensaver-properties.desktop to right place (LP: #201481)
    - remove planetary-gears screensaver (LP: #196360)

xscreensaver (5.04-4) unstable; urgency=low

  * debian/control: Add replaces/conflicts to fix upgrades (Closes: #468899)
  * corrected previous changelog entry on xscreensaver-gl-extra

xscreensaver (5.04-3) unstable; urgency=low

  [ Tormod Volden ]
  * (From Ubuntu) Include .desktop files for hacks (Closes: #410095)
  * debian/xscreensaver-data.files: Skip .desktop file for popsquares
    for now until conflict is sorted out with gnome-screensaver that
    also ships it
  * dropped planetary_gears.desktop (gears goes planetary randomly
    and has no command option for it)
  * 60_add-ant-hack.patch: restore "ant" (disabled upstream in 4.23)
  * Add .desktop description for "ant"
  * (From Ubuntu) Split xscreensaver package into:
    - xscreensaver (core backend without hacks)
    - xscreensaver-data (standard hacks)
    - xscreensaver-data-extra (hacks not installed by default)
  * (From Ubuntu) Split xscreensaver-gl package into:
    - xscreensaver-gl (standard GL hacks)
    - xscreensaver-gl-extra (GL hacks not installed by default)
  * 70_fade_oversleep.patch: don't hang on resume (Closes: #454523)
  * 71_endgame_whiter_colour.patch: better contrast (Closes: #463345)

  [ Jose Luis Rivas ]
  * debian/xscreensaver-gl.files: Deleted interplanetary-gears.desktop since
  it's not shipped.

 -- Tormod Volden <email address hidden> Thu, 06 Mar 2008 11:01:03 +0100

Changed in xscreensaver:
status: In Progress → Fix Released
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